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Five Easy Ways to Gather Client Testimonials

October 29, 2010

Filed under: General

According to Marketing Profs: There are easy ways to garner praise. Search online for positive feedback, and follow up with your fans. Voila! Testimonials

Here’s  an excerpt from Rebecca Swayze's post at the Inbox Ideas blog: “When used properly ... testimonials can help you build a list of engaged email newsletter subscribers and increase sales," Rebecca notes. But how do you collect worthwhile feedback when you haven't ever focused on it? Easy, Swayze says: Just go online. "Without even picking up the phone or sending an email, you have an incredible arsenal of research tools available to you via the Internet," she explains.

Here are five places where you can start looking for kudos right now:

Your email inbox
"Hunt through old messages and look for any positive feedback you can find," Swayze advises. If you come across a nugget of praise, send a quick email back to the sender for permission to use it.

Your blog
Read back over your older blog comments, she advises: "There are bound to be testimonials you can use in your marketing materials."

Use Twitter Search to find out whether customers are tweeting about your brand, and follow up positive comments with a quick private message. Mark favourable comments as "favourites" so you don't lose them, she recommends.

"You might find the best testimonials (at your Facebook fan page) without even having to ask for them," Swayze notes.

Google Alerts
Choose the search terms you want to monitor. Google Alerts will notify you when they appear in new online content. Follow up with the authors of positive comments.

Finally, you can always just ask, Swayze says. "Post-purchase follow-up messages give you the perfect opportunity to ask customers for feedback," she notes. "If customers are content with your service, they should happily provide a few words of praise."

Tags: client, customer, testimonials, email

5 Items To Delete From Your Website Today

October 11, 2010

Filed under: General

How often have you had marketing experts tell you what your website must have? The must have’s often include: start a blog, monitor social media, or optimize your site for search engines. While all of these things are important, Kipp Bodnar recently created a list of items you should delete as soon as possible from your site. Kipp’s advise is to do something completely different: think about things you should stop doing and offers a few suggestions on things to remove from your business website.

1. Complicated Animations
Flash-based animations can be bad for search engine optimization, but they can also complicate the website experience for visitors. Remember that when users visit your website they looking for something specific. Animations can often be slow to load, which slows down the user and can make them abandon your website. Perform a test. Remove your animation for a set period of time and see how it impacts metrics like lead conversion and time-on-site.

2. Industry Jargon
Your website should be written for your customers. Assuming that potential customers know and understand industry terminology is a mistake. Look through your website and highlight terms that are not commonly used outside of industry circles. If you aren’t sure if a word should be removed, ask one of your customers if they are familiar with it. Delete the highlighted words and replace them with more common explanations.

3. Images
Images are important. Images help to tell a story. However, many websites have too many images. The problem with having too many images is that they can drastically slow down the load time for your website in a web broswer. Search engines also take into consideration page load times when ranking websites. Websites that have been around for a while can often collect lots of images, and some of them no longer go with the content of the site. Keep some images, but go through and remove all images from your website that don’t help tell your company’s story.

4. Long Pages of Text
Research has shown that Internet users don’t like to scroll. Having a product page that is full of text and graphs that takes several scolls to reach the bottom is asking for your information to be ignored. The truth is that if you have long text pages of your website, you are probably trying to communicate too many ideas on that page. Read through and ask yourself, “Is this all about one topic?” If the answer is “no,” then divide that page into a couple short pages that each contain a single idea. This type of simplification will make it easier for your visitors and search engines to understand what your site and business is aobut.

5. “Contact Us” Form
Contact us forms don’t work. Instead of qualified leads, they mostly attract spam. Having your business contact information as part of your website is critical. However, when it comes to using forms, use landing pages. Landing pages provide a dedicated form that is connected to a lead generation offer. For example, if you have a form connected to a free assessment, you clearly know that submissions from that form are related to potential customers who want a free assessment. You don’t have this clarity with a contact us form, and response rates for dedicated landing pages are much higher.

Sometimes, less is definitely more.

Source: Hubspot. Click here for the full post.

Tags: website, marketing, site, customers, contact, information

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